Air India Ltd. is considering hiring retired pilots, according to an airline official with knowledge of the matter, as the money-losing carrier seeks to bolster staff to prepare for one of the largest aircraft orders in commercial aviation history.
The former state-run airline reached out to superannuated pilots, asking if they would be willing to opt for an extension, if offered, the official said, declining to specify any other details including the number of pilots and the duration of extension.
A representative for Air India didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Air India’s move to increase manpower comes as the carrier, which was taken over by Tata Sons Pvt. in January, is considering ordering 300 Airbus SE A320neo jets or Boeing Co. 737 Max models, or a mix of both, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.
Air India is headed for a revamp under new Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson, who previously led Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s budget unit. Tata Sons has assigned 150 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) to revive Air India and there will be visible progress in 12-24 months, Chairman N. Chandrasekaran told the Economic Times newspaper earlier this month. The salt-to-software conglomerate is working on the airline’s fleet, ground handling, network planning, IT systems, maintenance and training, he said.
The Press Trust of India earlier reported that Air India informed retired pilots they are being considered for contracts for the role of commander for five years or until the age of 65, whichever is earlier, citing the airline’s Deputy General Manager for Personnel Vikas Gupta.
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